Tips for Staying Safe during a Night Out in Nashville

Posted in Pedestrian Accident on August 12, 2018

Due to the popularity of tourist destinations like Broadway and its famous assortments of bars and restaurants, Nashville has become one of the most popular cities in the South for nightlife.

And while the city has no shortage of things to do on weekends and evenings, it’s important to remember that safety should always be your biggest priority. Metro Nashville Police records indicate that the Central Precinct of the city, which includes areas like Broadway and 2nd Avenue, was the site of 84 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians in 2016—a 65-percent increase over 2015.

In 2017, 19 pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles. In addition, 280 people were hit by vehicles that year throughout Davidson County—with many of those accidents occurring in popular tourist and nightlife areas of Nashville. A spokesperson with Walk Bike Nashville said the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2017 reached “crisis level,” and the Tennessee Highway Safety Office says that Nashville’s rapid growth is a major contributing factor to the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville pedestrian accident lawyers know how dangerous many of the most popular areas of the city can be—especially late at night when drivers and pedestrians are more likely to be intoxicated. If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident while walking around in Nashville, whether you were enjoying the city’s nightlife or just strolling through your neighborhood, you may be eligible for compensation. Call us at (615) 200-1111 or fill out an online form to find out how we can help.

Expect the Unexpected while Walking near Bars and Restaurants

Pedestrian deaths aren’t just increasing in Nashville—they’re increasing throughout the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that pedestrian fatalities were one of the few types of road-related deaths to increase in 2016, with nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths being reported that year alone nationwide.

The next time you’re traveling in Music City by foot—including its tourist, nightlife, and entertainment districts—you can help reduce your risks by following these important tips:

  • Avoid distractions—Driving while distracted is a growing epidemic that causes thousands of crashes every year, but walking while distracted can be just as dangerous. Many pedestrians on Broadway and 2nd Avenue are distracted by their cell phones or while taking in the sights and sounds of the area. Not paying attention to where you’re going can significantly increase your risks of being involved in a serious pedestrian accident. Keep your head up and your eyes on the road ahead to be aware of everything going on around you, and always walk on sidewalks while facing traffic whenever possible.
  • Be careful when entering and exiting cabs or ride-share vehicles—Nashville’s streets can be crowded in the downtown and midtown areas. That means taxis and ride-share vehicles can’t always pull up directly next to sidewalks to pick up or drop off passengers. If you’re not near a sidewalk or crosswalk when being dropped off, be cautious before opening your door and exiting. If you’re approaching the vehicle, do so only in a crosswalk and only enter the vehicle when no other vehicles are approaching your location.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, even at crosswalks—Crosswalks are by far the safest place to cross the street, but they don’t eliminate the risks that you face as a pedestrian. Drivers can turn left into crosswalks without paying attention or looking for pedestrians, while others may run red lights. Walking at night in some of Nashville’s most popular areas can be dangerous no matter where you are, as drivers may be distracted and impaired. That’s why you should look both ways before stepping into the crosswalk and continue to do so as you cross.
  • Get a safe ride home if you’re over the legal limit—Never get behind the wheel of your vehicle if you become intoxicated. Alternative arrangements like designated drivers, taxis, ride-sharing services, and public transportation are safe ways to get home without putting yourself and others at risk. In addition, you should also be aware that there are many risks associated with walking while impaired—especially if you’re walking near traffic. Alcohol can make it more difficult to track moving vehicles and maintain your balance, and that can put you at risk of a pedestrian accident.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing—Some pedestrian accidents happen even when pedestrians do all of the right things. That’s because drivers aren’t always on the lookout for pedestrians, and they can strike them by running red lights, turning into their paths, or drifting onto shoulders and sidewalks. Making yourself more visible to drivers can reduce your risks, and you can accomplish that by wearing clothing that’s brightly colored and reflective. Sticking to well-lit areas with plenty of street lights and commercial lighting can also make you easier to see for drivers.
  • Plan your stops and next destinations ahead of time—Having a GPS in your pocket in the form of a smartphone makes it easy to get around town, especially if you’re changing venues or want to walk to a new restaurant or bar. But cell phones can be distracting, even if you aren’t talking on them or texting someone. Pedestrians who use the GPS functions on their phones often walk with their heads down and with their eyes on their screens instead of on their surroundings. If you need to use your smartphone to get directions, do it ahead of time or stop and review the route while in a safe location away from traffic.

Pedestrian Injuries Are Serious. Get Serious Representation.

When pedestrians are involved in accidents with vehicles, they can suffer debilitating and often disabling injuries. Broken bones and even temporary or permanent paralysis are common complications that pedestrian accident victims can suffer, and those injuries require extensive medical care and can make it difficult or impossible to go back to work.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville pedestrian accident lawyers will fight to get you or your loved one the money you deserve after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Trust our experience—we’ve been helping injured victims like you for 30 years, and we know what it takes to win. Call today for a free consultation.